28 June, 2009
Consumers have many ways to spend their dollars. It seems the more money you have the more you can afford or the "higher quality", name brand items are within reach. If your spending dollars are less, the assumption is you will trend to be a bargain shopper, frequenting stores offering more for less and possibly purchase "inferior" products.
But the challenge I put out today is not that more money equals better product due to name or quality, or that less money equals cheap construction and poor quality. Rather, why don't we look at the integrity of the product; is it sustainable, ecological and natural? Will your purchase be of your choosing or will your wallet size determine the bracket for your spending?
If I had millions in the bank, the choices for my spending would remain consistent to my choices today. There are two changes I would make however. Organic clothing would be a priority instead of a luxury and we would finally be able to upgrade our vehicle to a Hybrid or at least something with a 40+ MPG. Beyond these changes, I wouldn't let a larger wallet fill my head with dreams of grandeur in terms of what society determines is "luxury".
This is where most of us get it wrong. It isn't about the higher priced item, it is about the form and function of the item and whether or not it adds value to life in general. I don't think a higher price tag is a blanket statement for the product's true value. Think about all the high priced cosmetics found at Nordstroms, Neiman Marcus or Bloomingdales that are loaded with chemicals and questionable "paraben". Walk into any boutique clothier and see of they are using sustainable bamboo or organic fibers. Read the labels for the name brand food items. Do you see the Organic Label on the package? Do these products add to your health or do they benefit Mother Earth? Due to their higher price tag there is a perceived notion it is better, (the goal of advertisers). For me the answer is no. I try to always choose products based on their integrity instead of their price tag.
How refreshing to see Celebrities choose green living, instead of excessive living. It is about content and integrity, not about excess and wallet size. Maybe if we started to root out the truth behind our product choices we would affect truth in advertising and pricing. The consumer could buy based on true need and not perceived status. Mother Earth would start to heal, instead of fracture and then our financial status would not mean as much as the integrity of our soul. Our nature would be more important than our financial status.
If amassing wealth is the defining quality of a person's worth... look at Bernie Madoff. Is he really a person of integrity? Is he our role model for success? Is he the person we aspire to become? Think about this as you slave away at your jobs to earn a good salary to afford the house, the cars, the take out, the high priced designer labels, the fancy $3.50 cup of coffee, the latest high tech gadget and the over the top party to outdo all parties. What does all this spending really say about you? Thoughtful, wise, creative, or ______; well you can fill in the blank.
What are you working so hard to prove? What does the big paycheck really offer you, freedom, choice, integrity? Taking the steps to living in harmony with our Creators is a tough one. There are many who are making the choice and waking up to their true purpose. They work hard to balance out financial responsibilities with gainful, rewarding employment. They take extra thought for purchases and choices with their wallet. They are thoughtful and inspiring. One such story is found here. This is human challenge for all who inhabit Mother Earth. What footprint are you leaving behind on Gaea? Does she regard you with kindness or resentment?
This post is not to say I am perfect, but that I struggle with my choices everyday and it would be refreshing to see value placed on true value and not perceived value. If the size of the wallet didn't matter, could we connect more as humans and learn about our humanity?